What is a Cardio Diet?

N. Madison
N. Madison

A cardio diet is a type of diet a person can use to burn calories and improve cardiovascular health. This type of diet involves doing cardio workouts, which are exercises that not only encourage weight loss, but also raise the heart rate and help the heart grow stronger. A person on a cardio diet will typically do cardio workouts, such as running, swimming, bicycling, aerobics, and even walking, on a regular basis. He may also include healthy eating and calorie reduction in his diet plans. For example, an individual may create his own cardio diet, including daily aerobic workouts and a low-fat, low-calorie eating plan; if he wants to tone his body while losing weight, he might even add in some strength training exercises.

Swimming might be part of a cardio dieter's regular workout.
Swimming might be part of a cardio dieter's regular workout.

Often, people begin diets that focus solely on calorie reduction and wonder why they don't lose as much weight as they want. The problem is a person has to burn more calories than he consumes in order to lose weight. For example, if a person needs to consume 2,500 calories per day to maintain his weight, he may drop down to eating just 2,200 daily calories to shed extra pounds. At this rate, he could lose about 2.5 pounds (1.1 kilograms) per month. If he included cardio exercises in his plans and burned 300 calories per day, he could lose up to 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms) per month instead.

Rock climbing is an awesome cardio exercise that goes along with a cardio diet.
Rock climbing is an awesome cardio exercise that goes along with a cardio diet.

There are many exercises a person can do on a cardio diet. He may choose a couple of favorites to focus on every day or select a different exercise daily to combat boredom. For example, a person may choose aerobics or running for his cardio diet or he may opt for swimming or walking. Bicycling, cross-county skiing, rock climbing, and rowing are cardio exercises as well. Even playing a game of handball counts as cardio. Some people opt to get their cardio workouts in by using various types of fitness equipment; an individual may do this by working out on a treadmill, elliptical trainer, or exercise bike.

To lose weight on a cardio diet, a person may do well to exercise at least four days each week for at least a half hour each time. Some people may work their way up to one hour each time, which boosts the amount of calories burned and usually allows for faster weight loss. An individual may also reduce his caloric intake in order to lose weight faster. For many people, giving up a couple of sugary drinks each day or choosing small meal portion sizes is enough to help facilitate weight loss. Additionally, some people may perform weight bearing exercises to tone their muscles as they shed extra pounds.

A cardio diet aims to complement cardiovascular exercises such as running.
A cardio diet aims to complement cardiovascular exercises such as running.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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